Monica King Contemporary opens an exhibition of mixed media works by Jason Craighead

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Monica King Contemporary opens an exhibition of mixed media works by Jason Craighead
Jason Craighead: a raw eloquence, installation view. Monica King Contemporary, New York. October 10, 2020—November 10, 2020.

NEW YORK, NY.- Monica King Contemporary is presenting a solo exhibition of new work by Jason Craighead, a raw eloquence, from October 10 through November 7, 2020. The presentation features mixed media works incorporating fragments of vintage dictionary and thesaurus pages, furthering the artist’s ongoing inquiry into human connectivity and collective communication. This is Craighead’s first exhibition with Monica King Contemporary.

Jason Craighead’s work is, at its core, an exploration of the vastness of the human condition in a collective sense, made visible only through the lens of rigorous self reflection. Craighead’s paintings and works on paper dynamically embody the artist’s recent experiences, ongoing preoccupations and, at times, brutally raw emotions. In the artist’s work, vast areas of softly washed color exist alongside boisterously frenetic mark-making. Midnight black and glowing metallic swaths of pigment delineate movement and a surprising depth throughout the surface, all existing alongside his characteristically ambiguous linguistic references drawn from music lyrics, snippets of poems, or other text-based sources. From this fervent landscape marked by both energy and pause emerges a hazy mirror of our own constructed layers of meaning in turn joyful, tragic, confusing, dark, wild, and brilliant.

The recent addition by the artist of works created from pages ripped out of vintage dictionaries and thesauruses, existing within or at times serving as the actual ground layer of the compositions, adds another layer of introspection to the body of work as a whole. The viewer is confronted with the often-duplicitous nature of meaning, the emotional boundaries of definition and, perhaps ultimately, the limits of language at its core.

Born in Tennessee in 1971, Jason Craighead has lived most of his life in the Southern US. Largely self-taught, the artist’s work is now in a number of significant international private collections. In 2018, Craighead had his first solo museum exhibition, Threshold, at CAM in Raleigh, NC; his international solo gallery exhibition, Endless River, opened in early 2020 at Makasiini Contemporary in Turku, Finland. He was invited to be the visiting artist at the University of Kentucky, Lexington in the Fall of 2019. His work has been featured in 2019 and 2020 at art fairs including Untitled Miami and Intersect Aspen (formerly Art Aspen).

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